Thanks for all your comments, and thanks, Kattie, for some up-to-date information about the UK. I know that everything is very different from the way it was when I was in school.
The general opinion in the UK seems to be that standards have fallen in education over the last few decades, and that young people today are not as well educated as their parents were.
Having said that, I have a friend who is the principal of a high school academy in Nottingham, and he assures me that today’s students are getting a much better education than we had. The problem with education is that every debate about it is highly politicised, so it’s difficult to know what is really going on.
I am encouraged to know that MEXT is thinking of getting rid of the Center Test, though. To start with, I don’t think multiple-choice tests are a good measure of people’s ability, and the Center is not even a well designed one. The sooner they get rid of it, the better.
As some of you mentioned, however, the main purpose of university entrance exams for private universities in Japan is to make money, so I don’t think we will be seeing those disappearing anytime soon. I think the situation could be made a lot better if Japanese companies were not so obsessed with what university a person graduated from. I always tell my students that what matters is not which university you go to, but what you do while you are there.
I know that some companies now are starting to leave the question about which university you go to off their application forms, so maybe things will change in the future. Whichever way you look at it, though, education and the testing of young people are difficult problems for which there is no easy answer.
Here is some feedback on your comments.
the college gave her a multiple choice to assess her Spanish.
I remember that when I was in school, if a teacher told us that we were going to have a multiple-choice test, everyone just laughed, and no one would even bother studying for it.
As for the English exam, I also went through it in newspaper today.
Hi Tsuneko, nice to hear from you again.
I tried to go through the whole questions too, but I failed it. I stopped with question 46 because I was very exhausted.
I tried to go through the whole paper too, but I couldn’t do it. I stopped at question 46 because I was exhausted.
Oh no! I sometimes leave a double space after full stops – these old habits can be hard to shake off!
Everyone who does this, please stop it immediately! It looks dreadful. (And gives away your age!)
the one about American migration because the content was new to me(and for most examinees, I think), and thus I had to read through the whole text to answer the questions.
I quite liked that one too, but there was another really stupid question in it apart from the one I mentioned before.
The main purpose of this passage is to… (a) describe various patterns in American migration (b) explain why some states are less popular than others, (c) list states with a high ratio of adults who were born there, (d) report how the Pew Research Center collected data. The title of the passage is “A study on state-to-state migration in the US.” You don’t need to read the passage at all. Actually, you don’t even need to understand any English. If you can recognise the word “migration” in the title and then spot it again in answer (a), you would get full marks. This should not be possible in a good test.
students seem to get better and better at passing the tests but I think most employers will agree that students are not better educated these days.
Something that puzzles me is that Japanese children always come near the top of league tables when they are compared with other countries, but I have never felt that Japanese adults are better educated than those in other countries. I really do not understand this.
Fortunately, I could pass my first choice university.
Fortunately, I got into my first choice university.
Actually, that is perfectly the reason why I said…
Actually, that is precisely the reason why I said…
If this reform was done, the differnces in academic ability among public schools might disappear or at least decrease
The problem with that idea is that you naturally get better schools in more wealthy areas and worse ones in more deprived areas.
For example, I wonder what kind of question or task or interview would be the best to find out students suitable to the medical profession.
A range of things, probably.
I can’t really remember why it has started in the first place….
I can’t really remember why it was introduced in the first place.
some students have to take test although they are not fine.
… even though they are not well. (A-Z: fine)
I don’t do the test yet
I haven’t done the test yet
I’m not opposing to the German system
I’m not opposed to the German system
However, I’ve been always thinking that…
However, I’ve always thought that…
They chose me in the different way from they do it for German students.
They chose me in a different way from the way they choose German students.
I agree with you, but then how the new system should be chnanged? Do you think the new system that the government have in mind at the moment would work well?
I’m afraid that new ideas never work in Japan because they go through so many committees, they end up getting watered down until they become totally ineffective.
Does “bar” mean law school?
I think “bar” meant “except” in Kattie’s comment.
First, they charge about 35,000 yen/per school(including national universities) just to take the test.
So Meiji is making 35,000 yen multiplied by 100,000 candidates. No wonder the salary is so good there!
That’s it for today. Have a nice weekend.